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Sarah Palin trashes National Endowment for the Arts

March 16, 2011 |  2:58 pm

Palin JUSTIN LANE EPA Television commentator and half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin trashed the National Endowment for the Arts recently, describing the agency as "frivolous" in a Thursday interview on a Fox News talk show.

"NPR, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that government shouldn't be in the business of funding with tax dollars -- those should all be on the chopping block as we talk about the $14-trillion debt that we're going to hand to our kids and our grandkids," Palin told right-wing host Sean Hannity. "Yes, those are the type of things that for more than one reason need to be cut."

Palin did not elaborate on what the other reasons might be for chopping the NEA budget. But the government of every major civilization in world history has also prominently funded the arts.

The comment about the NEA came during a discussion of the ailing U.S. economy. Palin is certainly conversant with frivolous activity, but her grasp of the economy is weak.

Debt reduction would barely be affected by penciling out the small federal arts agency, which currently operates on a $161-million annual budget. Palin's support of a federal subsidy for the notorious "bridge to nowhere" in her state became a campaign issue when she ran for vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket. That local project carried a price tag of $223 million.

"Reality is we have 15 million Americans who are out of work," said Palin. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, according to Americans for the Arts. The NEA is one linchpin in that sizable economy.

In the interview Palin made no statement advocating similar budget cuts to her home state as she recommended for the NEA, which is also in the cross hairs of Washington's Republican leadership. Palin's Alaska gets $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes.



Leavitt painted image 1972 Art review: 'William Leavitt: Theater Objects' at MOCA

Art review: 'Gods of Angkor' at the Getty

Art review: 'Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman' at the San Diego Museum of Art


-- Christopher Knight


Photo: Sarah Palin. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA

Comments () | Archives (333)

Remind me-- who is Sarah Palin again?

Someone said, "We should take a critical eye and a critical look and say, 'Is this an appropriate role for the government?'
The response was, "This is more about her disdain for NEA than it really is about saving taxpayers' money."

Oops - the actual response was "This is more about her disdain for NASCAR than it really is about saving taxpayers' money."
It was Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Patrick McHenry who made the aforementioned statements.

I guess it all depends which side you're on.

It doesn't get any more stupid than Sarah Palin.

Ah the village idiot continues to outdo herself.

Good idea, cut Alaska subsidies and save 2 billion dollars.

Obviously with such a big surplus they are just sucking at the public trough.

Com on you Tea partiers get with the program, thats some big bucks.

Sarah Palin? She's an idiot! Why the hell does the media pay ANY attention to ANYTHING she has to say? She has demonstrated over and over again that he has NO GRASP of what America is all about. I weep for my country!

re: Debt Realist "Palin is so dense. ... Maybe someone should let her know that our heirs will be delighted to find that they own $14 trillion in US treasuries, the safest financial assets ever known. Those US bonds constitute a large portion of the real wealth that we the people own and will leave to our children, making their lives better, not worse."

We're not buying US treasuries, we're selling them. They are not an asset to us, but a debt. The people with the asset are those who are buying our debt. Is this Opposite Day or something?

She's such a cold-hearted political wantabe we should send her to Japan so they can use her to cool the spent fuel rods at Unit 4.

She is such an ignoramus, why give her any print?

What credential does she have to have an opinion on the arts? Fox propaganda? Failed Governor? Failed VP candidate? Failed mother? Google Federal Theatre Project and you will see that once upon a time when the US was free was actually had a Federal Theatre like all of the major nations of the world.

Remember, this is a culture war. It has nothing to do with the budget, just with destroying the things that "liberals" hold dear and that give people something other than work and religion and war to think about.

It's also another way to send a harsh message to the few artists who actually manage to scrape by on their art-related work.

And, really, we "all need to sacrifice" now... except for the rich... and especially except for Palin.

OK, so say the US stops supporting the arts and every creative media outlet -- you know, even though every other developed nation manages to support and nurture its creative minds.

Here we are, left with no funding for artists -- and the Republicans say they fear the US becoming a socialist/communist state? Because the socialists and communists supported arts and non-mainstream creative expression?


Conservatives really need to look at what they're attacking. They contradict themselves all over the place. Morons, the whole lot.

"But the government of every major civilization in world history has also prominently funded the arts."

This statement is pure hyperbole.

Historical private patronage by dynastic rulers seeking to glorify themselves and legitimize their authority should not be equated to contemporary arts funding by modern governments.

Regardless of what happens to the NEA, the government will continue to fund the arts by simply hiring architects to design Federal Buildings and photographers to take portraits of our representatives.

So go ahead and tax big business to death and see where your arts go.

.... _ _ _ ...

Oh actually - a bigger tax deduction.

Then again there is woof woof and that theory about Ak. as a financially separate state.

Hey woof woof-- Forgot WWII and the Good Friday Quake you benedict?

I simply love Palin. Ms. Palin I hope you get elected as president in 2012. We can convert this secular nation of ours into a failed state like Pakistan in 4 years.Hello Bin Laden step back from planning terror and just pray to your god for the election of Palin 2012. Believe me Bin Laden your wildest dreams will come true about America.

While it may sound simple, if we cut something from many programs then each program doesn't feel the hurt so much. Those who say cutting such small amounts affect the outcome very little are wrong. They are the same people who wouldn't pick up a penny from the ground because it is only a penny and not worth much. Remember folks, one hundred of them add up to a dollar. We must start somewhere.

Has ANYONE checked to see if this really isn't Gomer W. Bush, in drag? Never giving up the limelight (so flattering to Gomer) and spouting stupidity, forever; it just seems 'So very bush!'

This ignorant white-trash woman knows nothing about the arts, or anything else of importance either. Ignore the idiot and she will shrivel up and disappear. She has helped, along with other idiots in the Republican party, to make U.S. citizens the laughing-stock of the world.

I guess no Sesame Street for the Kids. Just have them watch the Palins on "dancing with the Stars" and have their babies make babies !

All I have to say is "Who forgot to take out the trash?"

Even the thought of her becoming the Leader of the Free World, makes me feel dirty! Republicans and the "Tea party" better think before they act at the polls in the next Presidential election and in electing their candidate for the Presidency.

Country first, my friends! Good luck.

Frivolous? I would imagine if the government no longer funded the NEA, and instead, directed that money to snowmobile racing, caribou hunts, and truck mudding it would fine and dandy with the Alaskan recluse. When will Palin do something that actually contribute to the quality of our society rather than taking to task those who try to provide our citizens with diverse cultural experiences?

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